Researchers Identify Fossil of Dinosaur-Eating Snake

The discovery of a snake near an egg is by no means unusual, but in this case, the snake was 67 million years old — providing scientists with new information about how snakes in the dinosaur era lived, and what they ate.

The fossilized scene is a striking one and the first of its kind: the 11.5-foot-long snake is coiled around a cracked egg and surrounded by several more eggs. Nearby is a dinosaur hatchling, newly emerged from the cracked egg.

The researchers believe that the snake was eyeing the dinosaur baby as a meal. Their findings appear in Tuesday’s issue of the PLoS Biology journal.

“It’s a chance to understand the biology and early anatomy,” said Jeffrey A. Wilson, the paper’s lead author and a paleontologist at the University of Michigan. “The really important thing is that it’s actually caught in the fossil record showing what it’s doing.”

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